G8 Initiative: Sustainable Manufacturing of Solution-Processed Devices on Flexible Substrates Using Nanohybrid Materials

Project Details


This NSF award to Rutgers University New Brunswick funds U.S. researchers participating in a project competitively selected by the G8 Research Councils Initiative. This is a pilot collaboration among the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Canadian National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), the German Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR),and the United Kingdom Research Councils (RCUK), supporting collaborative research projects selected on a competitive basis that are comprised of researchers from at least three of the partner countries.

This multi-national collaboration--Methods for Materials-efficient Manufacturing (M3)-- will perform research on polymer-nanoparticle hybrid materials for sustainable production of advanced technology devices. The M3 team includes the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Rutgers University (U.S.), Tohoku University and the University of Tokyo (Japan), and Institut de Chimie de la Matière condensée de Bordeaux and the UMR CNRS Environnement, Ville, Société (France). The M3 research program focuses on solution-based processing of devices, device layers, components and functional materials on a roll-to-roll production platform, in which hybrid materials containing both polymers and nanoparticles are used to generate functional devices on flexible substrates. One technical goal for the project is development of solution-coatable high dielectric constant device layers comprised of polymer/nanoparticle composites; these layers are the active components of working devices, and progress in this field will advance efficient roll-to-roll flexible device production. A second technical goal is the use of polymer/nanoparticle solutions to form highly transparent emissive nanocomposite films containing optically active nanoparticles, including rare-earth dopes phosphors, as the functional component. U.S. research activities focus on developing the polymer hybrid materials and roll-to-roll processing methods (UMass Amherst), and synthesizing and characterizing the optically active composites (Rutgers).

The outcomes from this multinational research project will lead to more materials-efficient and sustainable manufacturing of materials and devices for applications such as energy conversion and storage, flexible electronics and displays, and optoelectronics. Compared to conventional batch vacuum and deposition processes, the solution-based roll-to-roll process can afford lower cost, less waste and significantly lower energy inputs. When combined with innovations in the materials used in the coating process for device fabrication, it is expected that the resultant process will involve fewer steps, no batch changes, commodity-priced materials, lower process temperatures, and drastically lower water usage, thereby reducing direct energy consumption.

Effective start/end date9/15/128/31/15


  • National Science Foundation: $220,000.00


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